Perception vs Reality: Colts' D'Qwell Jackson destroys DeflateGate argument

One of the reports that started the media circus, now dubbed DeflateGate, was that apparently Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson thought the football he intercepted from Tom Brady in the first half felt flat.

It started a whirlwind that culminated in two confusing press conferences from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Jackson spoke out today, claiming that he never noticed anything wrong with the football. In fact, he said the Patriots weren't even using their own balls. At one point, they were using the Colts' balls that were, reportedly, at legal pressure.
The game official mentioned something about their efforts to locate a usable football. Shortly after, Jackson noticed that the Patriots were using the Colts' footballs late in the first half. Jackson said it was odd to him that New England couldn't find a football to use, especially in the AFC Championship Game.

The deflategate story was started by Indianapolis TV newsman Bob Kravitz, who reported that the NFL was investigating the Patriots' use of deflated balls in the first half of the AFC Championship.

Kravitz's report was followed up by one from Bob Glauber of the New York News Day.

According to a person familiar with the background of the matter, the Colts first noticed something unusual after an interception by Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson in the second quarter. Jackson gave the ball to a member of the Colts' equipment staff, who noticed the ball seemed underinflated and then notified coach Chuck Pagano.

General manager Ryan Grigson was notified in the press box, and he contacted Mike Kensil, NFL director of football operations. Kensil then told the on-field officials at halftime, when the Patriots led 17-7.

Kravtiz confirmed this report, but clarified that D'Qwell Jackson never claimed to have noticed anything wrong with the football. This was two days ago.

"D'Qwell Jackson told me Monday he did not notice the ball seemed under-inflated, but my source tells me that's when Colts became suspicious,"'s Bob Kravitz confirms.

However, a report from WCVB in Boston made it seem like it was Jackson who noticed the under-inflation.

Sources tell SportsCenter 5's Mike Lynch that D'Qwell Jackson, of the Indianapolis Colts, intercepted a pass before the end of the first half of the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots Sunday night and told his equipment manager that the ball felt under-inflated, leading to the so-called 'deflategate' controversy.

In a showcase of how ridiculous this story of deflated footballs has become, the conflicting nature of the reports of Kravtiz/Glauber vs Lynch went unnoticed. Instead, they have gone through a warped game of twitter telephone in which they both become the same.

Pundits and fans alike started citing the linebacker noticing that something was wrong with the ball as evidence that the alleged (up to) 2 psi deflation in 11 of the 12 Patriots balls was apparent (EDIT: Brady cleared up today, the Patriots provided 24 balls. It was 11 of 24 balls), and that the players on New England should have noticed it.

As an example, here's how Yahoo Sports' Frank Schwab reported the story, linking Glauber's report with Lynch's.

Yahoo Sports:
According to New York Newsday and WCVB in Boston, Jackson believed the ball wasn't inflated as much as usual. He told a Colts equipment manager the ball felt under-inflated and gave it to him. The equipment man told Colts coach Chuck Pagano on the sideline. That message was relayed to Colts general manager Ryan Grigson in the press box, who told NFL director of football operations Mike Kensil, Newsday and WCVB said.

Jackson took it upon himself today to clarify that he never noticed anything was wrong with the ball, despite what people were saying.

Jeff Darlington of clears things up even further with Jackson.

"I wouldn't know how that could even be an advantage or a disadvantage," Jackson said. "I definitely wouldn't be able to tell if one ball had less pressure than another."

Jackson also said he holds no bitter feelings toward the Patriots -- nor does he feel his team was cheated -- if indeed New England deliberately deflated the footballs.

"It wouldn't have changed the outcome of the game," Jackson said. "They outplayed us. We didn't match their intensity. I don't feel slighted at all personally. They created turnovers, they ran the ball on us. They won that game because of their intensity -- not the pressure of a football."

Perception vs Reality. Perception nearly always wins.

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